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Cutting back on the "drug" before the race(10 posts)

Cutting back on the "drug" before the raceeschelon
Mar 28, 2002 11:56 AM
My drug is my compulsion to train. I don't do intensity training everyday, rather, I ration those intensity days sparingly and for maximum benefit like a good racer boy.

Anyway, I have a crit race coming up this Saturday and have decided to do the B race instead of the C race...because I find no glory or honor in placing high in the regular gringo race.

Joe Friehl says that my volume of training needs to go down quite far when a race is coming up. I've even read in other posts where people say that I shouldn't ride or do anything intense 2 to 1 days before race day.

Cut back on my training? I feel like I should cut back like everyone else says, but I feel panicked because I'm afraid my performance will suffer.

Here is my usual schedule in Build 3 phase:
mon= passive rest day
tue= 2 hour endurance trainer ride
wed= 2 hour endurance trainer ride
thu= 1 hour trainer speed day: 12 minutes speed intervals at 115 cadence
fri= 1 hour trainer 12 minute intervals at 30 mph
sat= Outside ride intervals 3 hour ride
sun= outside ride intervals 3 hour ride

Obviously I am not going to take this weekend's race too seriously...and should I find the pace beyond my fitness level, I will simply drop out rather than screw up my body...but I really don't want this to happen. At the very least, I want to finish the race with the pack and not drop out.

Sorry about the long post, but I need reassurance that cutting back on training like taking a couple of days off before race day is the best strategy.

Thank you in advance.
Just out of curiosityshirt
Mar 28, 2002 11:59 AM
Why are you doing 2-day units of the same thing? (See Tues+Wed, Thur+Fri, Sat+Sun.)
Just out of curiosityeschelon
Mar 28, 2002 12:03 PM
I figured since my racing days would be on the weekends, it was best to put my easy endurance days at the start of the week. Thur+Fri was to get my body used to the harder, faster, race pace, and if there wasn't a race on Sat or Sun, I would really push the pace on these days.
re: Cutting back on the "drug" before the raceRockyMountainRacer
Mar 28, 2002 1:25 PM
This only my second year of structured training, so you can ignore me if you want, but I'd be really worried about overtraining with that schedule if I were you. I understand you are in the "build" phase (I have both the Friel books myself and follow his schedule loosely), but I would really make sure you take that fourth week really lightly with what you are doing now. Last summer was the first time I started training with structured intensity (because I had just gotten the Friel book), and I totally burnt myself out by early August because I did way too much intensity training--and I was following a schedule similar to yours. I had been playing lacrosse for the past 12 years, and I took the "if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger" attitude from that sport into cycling. VERY BAD PLAN! We don't have the word "overtraining" in lacrosse, I only heard it when I started reading a lot about bike training. Anyway, at a bare minimum I would strongly encourage you to put in one more easy day in your week after one of your interval days. And I mean a really easy day--warm up and go home. Another thing about taking time off--you won't lose fitness if you take time off when your body is hammered, because your body is healing while your resting. So your actually getting stronger! Seriously, I think even Lance Armstrong takes 2 easy days per week minimum--one off and one recovery ride.
re: Cutting back on the "drug" before the raceKrypton
Mar 28, 2002 1:34 PM
One thing I found out was that if I take the day off before a race, I won't perform at all at the race. The best way to be in top shape for me is this. Suppose the race is on saturday.

Wed: ride a fairly hard ride and with about 70% of the mileage you'll be doing at the race (80K race, ride about 50k).
thur: don't ride at all. day off
Fri: ride about half of the race distance but really s-l-o-w. Take a heart monitor and dont push yourself. Just spin the legs with a good cadence and maybe do a one min acceleration just to test the legs.

Take the rest of the evening off, watch what you eat and drink alot.

Before your race go do a 20 min spin if you can and do 2-3 little sprint to get your legs warmed up.

That's it.

I find that if I take the day off before a race, on the day of the race, my legs are slow and I dont have much power. But if I do as above, I feal great.
Cutt backallervite
Mar 28, 2002 2:30 PM
If this is not a priority race for you, than train through it. If it is not a priority, but you really want to do well than starting three days out do an easy hour ride with many short efforts. Be sure to recover completley between efforts.

By the way, your training plan of three days off in a row followed by four days of intensity is only good for stage race training. Actually it's kind of nuts considering the volume you are putting in. One of two things is going on here. If you are doing your intervals correctly, you are on the short miserable road to overtraining. If you are doing your intervals incorrectly (not hard enough), you are on the long miserable road to mediocrity. Either way your screwed.

Don't do more than two hard days in a row (unless you are a stage racer).

Don't get me wrong, your plan will make you fitter than if you did nothing, but you will not realize your potential.

My guess is you are not going hard enough on the hard days, and too hard on the easy days.

But! Maybe this works great for you and you will win this crit. I doubt it, but different bodies respond to different training in different ways
Cutt backeschelon
Mar 29, 2002 7:58 AM
Your're right. My Saturdays are basically the hardest day of the whole week. I would usuallly ride pretty much the whole 40+ mile ride with multiple hill repeats at or near LT...with recovery time within the ride when I notice things aren't getting better for me. And when Sunday came around, I just didn't have the total energy or pep to drive hard on Sunday as I would like.

I don't believe in riding so hard on my hard days that I drive myself into the ground...I think this strategy is counter-productive...I've learned from my body-building days that the body responds to stress best if you don't drive yourself into the ground while doing it.

I think Sundays would best be served by doing long easy E2 zone rides.
Although I am not following your advice to the word, I have found a new perspective to training more effectively and am going to change my routine next week. Thank you.
Productive Trainingallervite
Mar 29, 2002 11:22 AM
I too came to cycling with a weight training background. I did all the other sports in high shchool, but the training was always very poor and unstructured. Weight training was the first type of training I did that relied on structure and physiological research.

Of course cycling and weight training are two total different sports: One being anaerobic and the other mostly aerobic. Therefore, they require different approaches, but the concept of progressive resistance still applies.

The thing that worrys me the most with your program is that you may be wasting hard days and wasting rest days. In other words, at the end of your hard sessions, they are no longer productive because you are too tired. Also, after two days of rest, you really do not need any more, and may be losing fitness.

The harder your hard days, the more you will get out of them (to an extent). It's like doing Bench Press reps to failure rather than just a set of 10. If you do one hard day of intervlas followed by another hard day of intervals, you will not be able to do as many intervals the second day or do them as intensely.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about. In the first example I can do 15 intense intervals and not feel overtrained.

Monday- 5 intervals on two mile climb in my 53x17 taking 10 minutes each.

Tuesday- 2 hour recovery ride at 140 bpm heart rate.

Wednesday- 5 intervals on two mile climb in my 53x17 taking 10 minutes each.

Thursday- 2 hour recovery ride at 140 bpm heart rate.

Friday- 5 intervals on two mile climb in my 53x17 taking 10 minutes each.

In this second example I can only do 12 intervals in a week and they are not as intense because I am too tired.

Monday- 5 intervals on two mile climb in my 53x17 taking 10 minutes each.

Tuesday- 4 intervals on two mile climb in my 53x17 taking 12 minutes each.

Wednesday- 3 intervals on two mile climb in my 53x17 taking 14 minutes each. (I am thoroughly wasted)

Thursday- 2 hour recovery ride at 140 bpm heart rate. (tough to complete because my reserves are gone)

Friday- 2 hour recovery ride at 140 bpm heart rate.

Of course this is oversimplified, but it is essentialy what happens when you stack all your hard days. You are either going to do less intervals or do them less intensely because you have not recovered properly.

If you can do 15 intense intervals in one week and not feel tired than you are going to get a lot fitter a lot faster than if you can only do 12, less intense intervals in one week.

Hope I have not bored you,

Good luck at your race. Be sure to remind yourself that you are one bad ass armor plated son of a warship just before the start. Crit racing can be so intense that half the race is in your head.
Productive Trainingeschelon
Apr 1, 2002 9:31 AM
Seriously, I think it's fate that I read your thread. After my race this past Saturday, I was really angry at myself and my performance. Then it occurs to me that I need to space out my intensity days as every other days and rest days/recovery days on the other odd days. It occured to me that when I did body-building that the best way to keep the growth happening and muscular progression was to allow the body parts at least 2 days "rest" before punishing it again. I think I have made the mistake of relying too much on the cycling how-to books on training when all along I always knew how to train my body from my years of discovering how my body worked from body-building.

Your training methodology makes alot of sense. I definitly realized now that I was making my easy days too hard and therefore my hard days weren't hard enough.

This biking forum is by far the most intelligent and knowledgeable on biking and training matters...except the trolls.
Maybe I'm Lucky Afterall =)BigLeadOutGuy
Mar 28, 2002 7:04 PM
I feel best if I take 2 days off before a one day race. If I am racing on sunday Ill take friday and saturday off....Race on sunday...take monday off or do a slow recovery ride...Base miles on tuesday ride hard on wed...base miles on thrsday.
I race a lot better if I get more rest...later in the season ill train harder though